Chicago police officers on Sunday had once again been ordered to work 12-hour shifts and have their days off canceled amid some protesting that has persisted in parts of the city following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police nearly three weeks ago.
A Chicago police spokesman could not say why officers were forced to go back to the extended shifts, but the directive from top CPD brass comes following the shooting death Friday night of a black man by a police officer in Atlanta.
That shooting, which led to the firing of the officer and the resignation of Atlanta’s police chief, prompted more protests in that city as intense demonstrations calmed down there nearly three weeks after Floyd’s death on Memorial Day.
Until further notice, Chicago cops who are on active duty and not on vacation will have to work the 12-hour shifts — a normal shift is about 8 1/2 hours — and come in on their days off, the Chicago police spokesman, Luis Agostini, said Sunday morning.
CPD’s brass two weeks ago moved officers to the more demanding schedule following widespread protests downtown and in other parts of the city. In that time, outrage over Floyd’s death also led to looting, violence other civil unrest across Chicago, causing Mayor Lori Lightfoot to impose a 9 p.m. curfew and call in the National Guard for help.
It was during that time Chicago cops first worked 12-hour shifts and had their days off canceled for several days, a period in which officers made more than 2,000 arrests for looting and other civil unrest. But at that same time, the department faced scrutiny for their conduct during the demonstrations and subsequent unrest.
For instance, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and the FBI began reviewing allegations that Chicago police pulled a woman from a car by her hair and placed a knee on her neck.
Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman, who oversees the panel in charge of serious officer discipline, said cops hit him with batons as they clashed with protesters who marched on the South Side over Floyd’s killing.
A Chicago cop was also stripped of his police powers on allegations that he was shown on video using a homophobic slur during a confrontation with protesters.
Last week, the conduct of officers raised more eyebrows when Lightfoot and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush condemned images they said depicted Chicago police officers making popcorn, drinking coffee and sleeping on a couch in the congressman’s campaign office while nearby businesses were being looted amid unrest two weeks ago. The Fraternal Order of Police, CPD’s largest union, has disputed Lightfoot and Rush’s account of the incident, which is under investigation.
On Friday night, 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by Atlanta police Officer Garrett Rolfe at a Wendy’s drive-thru, a killing that has since drawn outrage and more protests in that city. Rolfe was later fired and a second cop was placed on administrative duty.
The shooting also led to the resignation of Atlanta’s police chief, Erika Shields.
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